Monday, March 18, 2019

IO (2019)

I like science fiction movies with little or no action. Moon and Solaris are high on my favorite movie list. Ex Machina goes to same category. Also one of my favorite movies. All has small cast. Each can build tension without threat of violence. Then there is IO which on paper is similar movie.

IO tells about young scientist woman living on dying Earth. She tries to figure out way to save Earth after almost everyone else has left the planet. Air has become poisonous on lower places. On higher places it is still breathable. After last evacuation flights are announced a man with hot air balloon lands next to her home.

I am not sure what I expected from IO. At the beginning it spend time establishing protagonist. Problems start when she is established and plot should start moving on. There is practically nothing building any tension. Characters spend most of the time literally waiting for something. What they wait changes during the movie but most of the time they are waiting for something without any sense of urgency.

She is not on brink of scientific breakthrough. He seem to have all the time in the world until he decides to go to last evacuation ship. But even then there is no feel of urgency. We learn something new from characters but it doesn't matter. There are couple twists which either were so obvious it is hard to call them twists or felt really weird when thinking what happened earlier.

I wanted to like IO. Couple changes would have made it better and more interesting. Having she being close to find a way to save Earth and him wanting more to be on last evacuation ship would have given them conflicting motivations. Now it is just two people hanging together even when their backs stories gave them a reason to have conflict. Some sort of conflict was written but it wasn't there.

IO is annoying movie because you can see all the potential but they backed down at some point. You can get interesting story from contents of his backpack and his backstory. That story was written there at some point but someone didn't like it. It is not about special effects budget. Just writing and doing everything better with same resources would have made the difference.

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